Loyd Star, Bogue Chitto hosting key Region 7-2A openers

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Here is a look at the high school football matchups for this Friday as most area schools begin region play this week.

Loyd Star (4-1) vs. Wilkinson County (1-4)

W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field, Highway 550

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Riding a three-game winning streak, the Loyd Star Hornets will welcome the newest member of Region 7-2A, Wilkinson County, to Hornetville on Friday.

Loyd Star exorcised the Stringer Red Devils last week for homecoming by a 49-8 final score. The Hornets were led by freshman quarterback Jordyn Kees, who rushed for 263 yards on 18 carries. Kees averaged 14.6 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns.

Junior Omarion Clay, freshman Philip Ross Spencer and senior Jaden Lea all had one rushing score apiece for the Hornets in the win. Clay carried the ball nine times for 91 yards. Lea led the Loyd Star defense with 13 total tackles in the win.

Wilkinson County dropped down from the 3A ranks to join Region 7-2A this season as they replaced East Marion, who moved back down to the 1A classification.

The Wildcats from Woodville have played a tough schedule thus far as they lost 36-0 to Jefferson County, 28-0 to Northeast Lauderdale, 20-0 to Port Gibson and 46-14 to Franklin County. Wilkinson County picked up its lone win thus far with a 40-18 road triumph at McLaurin.

It has been a long, long time since these two teams met on the football field as Loyd Star won the previous meeting 22-16 in 1988. The Hornets also won the only other matchup a year prior by a 28-22 score in 1987.

Wilkinson County is coming off a 0-10 season in 2022.

This season is the first for WC to be back in the 2A ranks since the 1988 season. The program last finished with a winning record in 2018 (8-4). Since then, Wilkinson County is a combined 6-34 overall.

Bogue Chitto (3-2) vs. Amite County (1-4)

Troy Smtih Field, Bogue Chitto

Bogue Chitto has shown thus far in 2023 that they’re a group of Bobcats that are comfortable in a back-and-forth ball game. First BC beat their county rivals from Enterprise 42-34, then they lost on the road 36-34 at Ethel and last week they returned to their home field to earn a 35-29 win over a Puckett squad that had been unbeaten.

In the win over Puckett, the Bobcats got another outstanding performance from senior running back Easton Sartin. Sartin rushed 21 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. Sartin also caught one pass from senior quarterback Jax Leggett for a 28-yard score.

Leggett and wideout Noah Magee connected on two passes for 15 yards and one of those catches also went for a touchdown. Legget also scored a rushing touchdown as did freshman Jayden Poole for BC.

On defense for the Bobcats, Sartin and senior linebacker Ken May had 10 tackles each. Marshall Hart added nine stops and Leggett recovered a fumble while Sartin, Poole, May, Tripp McCaffrey and Michael Hart all had one tackle for a loss apiece.

Amite County and Bogue Chitto have met six times since their first encounter in 2017. The Bobcats are 4-2 all-time against the Trojans from Liberty. BC won 22-16 last season, 31-6 in 2022 and 34-32 in 2020.

Based on their scores this season, it would appear that Amite County is a team that can compete for the top spot in Region 7-2A along with Bogue Chitto and Loyd Star. The Trojans are coming off a 1-8 season last year but look to be improved under former Wilkinson County coach Jeffrey Gibson.

Gibson is the third different head coach in three years at AC. The Trojans began the season with a close road loss 13-6 at 4A Richland. They then beat Perry Central 38-34 and lost a close home game 12-8 to Franklin County. Amite County played back-to-back games next in Copiah County as they lost 21-0 at Crystal Springs and then dropped an overtime decision last week by a 20-14 final score at Hazlehurst.

West Lincoln (1-4) vs. Sylva-Bay Academy (0-6)

Perry Miller Field, Flea Hop

West Lincoln and coach Brad Bland will hope to have some key starters back on the field Friday when they play their final non-division game of the season against the Sylva-Bay Academy Saints.

Starting quarterback Caden Seay left the game last week against Enterprise with an injury and fellow starters Zackary Taylor and Brice Peeples were also on the bench in street clothes. The hope is for Seay and Taylor to be back this week.

Seay and Weston Patten each scored on the ground against EAC. Braden Hamm rushed for a team high 34 yards on 11 carries against the Yellow Jackets.

Tyler Hall and Tucker Parsons had eight tackles each on defense for the Bears last week. Parsons also had an interception while Hall and Ryan Purdy had one tackle for a loss each.

This is the first time for the MHSAA 2A Bears to meet the MAIS member Sylva-Bay Academy. The Saints play in the MAIS 3A Classification, which is really 1A for 11-man football as the current 1A and 2A classes in the MAIS play 8-man football.

West Lincoln is 0-2 all-time against MAIS opponents in the recent past after losing to East Rankin Academy in 2021 and 2022.

The Sylva-Bay Saints have yet to win a game under the leadership of first year head coach Mo Dale. Last week, SBA lost 41-0 at home to Sacred Heart Catholic of Hattiesburg.

Brookhaven Academy (1-5) at Simpson Academy (3-3)

Lloyd S. Jones Field, Mendenhall

Brookhaven Academy went on the road last week and picked up its first win under first year head coach Reggie Lea, who is in his second stint leading the Cougar football team. BA triumphed over MHSAA 1A program Salem Attendance Center by a 49-12 final in a game that served as homecoming for the Wildcats from Walthall County.

Senior kicker Cooper Strickland kicked three consecutive onside kicks that were recovered by BA and the scores following those plays were part of a wave of momentum that pushed the Cougars to a 35-6 first quarter lead.

Senior quarterback Samual Evans finished 13-of-18 through the air for 208 yards and one touchdown. His scoring toss went to Walt Smith, who was another Brookhaven Academy player that had a big game against Salem.

Smith, a sophomore, caught a touchdown pass, ran for a score and threw for another touchdown in the win. His touchdown throw went to sophomore wideout Wilson Calcote.

Senior receiver Thomas King led the BA offense with four catches for 104 yards. Strickland caught four balls for 31 yards. Smith caught two passes for 62 yards, Calcote had two catches for six yards and junior Nathan Poole had one catch for five yards.

Junior Braden Revere led the Brookhaven Academy offense with 78 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Evans ran for a score and gained 29 yards on five carries. Sophomore Glenn Lewis picked up 23 yards on four carries.

The trip to Simpson Academy will be the final road game of the season for BA as they’ll close things out with three straight home games against Silliman Institute, Parklane Academy and Amite School Center.

The Cougars from BA and the Cougars from SA were supposed to last play in 2016, but that game was forfeited by Brookhaven when injuries forced then coach Ron Rushing to cancel the final two games of that season due to low roster numbers.

Simpson holds a 15-7 advantage in head-to-head meetings since the two schools first met in 1990. Four of those all-time matchups have come in the playoffs.

Simpson Academy is 3-3 on the season after winning their last three straight for coach Todd Mangum. The Cougars lost 47-6 at Tri-County in their opener and then dropped back-to-back home games to Hartfield Academy and Adams County Christian School.

The win streak started with a 41-11 win over East Rankin Academy. Simpson then beat the MHSAA 1A Taylorsville Tartars 21-6 and got its best win of the season last week with a 21-14 victory over MAIS 6A Presbyterian Christian.

Lawrence County (2-3) at Sumrall (3-2)

Bobcat Field, Sumrall

Lawrence County and Sumrall have built a nice rivalry since they started playing as region foes in 2017. The Bobcats from Lamar County won that fist matchup by a 34-20 final score. LC came back to win at home the next year 28-21.

The teams resumed playing as division opponents in 2021 and the Cougars won 31-28 at Sumrall that year. Last season, LC missed out on a playoff appearance due to a 28-12 loss at home to Sumrall.

Coach Jesse Anderson and his Cougars want to make it three wins in a row after they beat Tylertown 42-18 last week. LC led 34-0 at halftime.

Sumrall has wins over South Jones, West Harrison and West Marion and losses to Seminary (51-42) and also lost last week at Hattiesburg High (42-14).

Enterprise (3-2) at Lumberton (2-3)

Panther Field, Lumberton

Enterprise kicks off Region 8-1A play with a trip to face the Lumberton Panthers.

Last week in a 43-14 win over West Lincoln, the Yellow Jackets were led by junior quarterback Landon McNickles and his 202 yards rushing on just nine carries. McNickles scored three rushing touchdowns in the win. Junior Payton Kyzar added two more rushing touchdowns for coach Trey Woodard and junior Nick Harris also scored once on the ground.

Gavin Regouffre had one catch for 23-yards and Parker Harris had one catch that went for 21 yards to lead the EAC passing attack.

Kyzar led the Enterprise defense with 10 total tackles, which included three tackles for a loss.

Lumberton won 43-6 last week at home against Mount Olive. The Panthers also have a 42-8 win this season against West Marion.